Potato’s potential power

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: September 24th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

When it comes to the latest diet trends, the trusty potato has ended up on the short end of the shishkebab, thanks to diets that limit… or eliminate… this food favorite.

But it seems spuds might be regaining their star status.

Consider that the United Nations named 2008 the International Year of the Potato. The vegetable is being recognized for its nutritional value, and its ability to thrive in less-than-ideal growing conditions. One medium potato with skin has forty-five percent of the daily value of vitamin C.

The U-N isn’t the only group buzzing about the potato’s pros. Indeed, the latest research findings could have consumers rethinking the “couch potato” turn of phrase.

Studies have shown that the potato might actually help with weight loss, rather than hurt it.

Unlike carbohydrates from foods like corn flakes, the potato is made from resistant starches.

These starches are “resistant” to being absorbed by the body. Often they are too bulky for the body to break down. The bulkiness also helps you feel full.

Adding resistant starches to your diet isn’t a quick fix. But one study suggests people could significantly decrease the body’s ability to accumulate fat by replacing about five percent of their carbohydrates with resistant starches.

That’s good news, and groups like the U-S Potato Board have added information about weight loss to their Web sites in hope that consumers might think twice before tossing their taters off the grocery list.